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What If They Do?

Praying hands

Have you ever wondered if your prayers for others have any real beneficial effect at all? I have. I still am wondering sometimes.

Sacred Scripture tells us that praying for others is important. Jesus did not only say “Love your enemies,” but also “pray for those who persecute you.” Jesus Himself prayed for His disciples during the time of His earthly life. St. Paul continually asked the people to whom he addressed his letters to pray for him.

Praying for others seems to be the right thing to do.

And I sincerely try to do it. Although, of course, I could try harder and do it better. I am merely human, after all. Life is busy and … well … praying can sometimes feel like tedious work. When I think of the many prayers that I could raise to God on behalf of countless others, it feels rather daunting. And I wonder if it’s really necessary. Even when I put in the time and effort to pray deeply for someone I know or someone who has asked me to pray for them, I still wonder. What good are my prayers, really? Doesn’t God love all the people for whom I pray even more than I do?

How does it work? I wonder as if I could actually discover the answer and understand a profound mystery of God. And then, yes, I doubt, and wonder if it works at all.

“But what if it does…?” a little voice in my heart said recently.

Maybe my prayers for other people don’t make a difference.

…But what if they do?

© 2023 Christina Chase

Feature Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

5 thoughts on “What If They Do? Leave a comment

  1. Good thought!

    Someone said this is a powerful prayer:

    Lord, the one you love is______ (fill in the blank)
    And that’s it.
    Like the wedding at Cana — let God do His thing —
    without our advice!

    God bless you and Mary guide you, Christina.
    I read your book.
    Thanks so much for your ministry.
    No need to answer.



    • I will answer with gratitude for your words of encouragement and for sharing that simple yet powerful prayer. Thank you very much for reflecting with me! God is good.
      Pax Christi


  2. What indeed if they do?

    you lay out the arguments effectively (I shall copy this post if I may!?)

    in this world there is always room for doubt but have you never felt support from people’s prayers? Of course, that could be your imagination, but if knowing that prayer has been offered by someone else for your benefit boosts your confidence, your courage, perhaps the Spirit is at work in you, linked to your friend that was inspired to pray for you. I think the Spirit is the missing link here.

    And I’m too tired to think straight for one more sentence.




    • Maurice,
      So good to hear from you! You are in my prayers, my friend. And yes, you may copy this post in any way that you like.
      I do believe, like you said, that I have benefited from people’s prayers. Their prayers may not have been answered exactly the way they intended, but only God knows what is truly best. The Holy Spirit at work within us, among us, and between us is perhaps exactly the key in understanding how intercessory prayer “works.” Perhaps our guardian angels in communication as well? I’ve been trying to be more open to the presence of angels. God works in mysterious ways.
      With much love,
      Pax Christi


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